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The Possession (2012)

The Possession is yet another installment in the seemingly unending genre of possession movies and brings nothing new to the table. I'm fairly certain they just Googled "possession movie script template," downloaded the first option they found, and pitched it to the studio.

The gist: A couple gets divorced (that's a sin or something, right?) and shares custody, but not parenting styles. Dad is struggling to be cool and to remain relevant in his daughters' lives so he buys them things at a creepy tag sale. One daughter becomes obsessed with her tag sale find, which turns out to be inhabited by an angry, Jew demon who like to devour children's souls. Possession progresses to a point where the family seeks spiritual support. Then there's an exorcism. The rabbi eventually gets the demon back in its box and takes it away. Don't worry though! Apparently nothing ends a divorce like a good possession and the family ends up together in the end - demon free. And the rabbi? Doesn't end well for him. Oh yes - the obviously unambiguous, ambiguous ending lets us know that the demon will likely get away, again.


Also. Did you know that MRIs are good for finding tumors AND they are also good for finding demons? Too bad no one figured this out back in '73 when another little girl piqued the interest of a demon and had to endure a battery of medical tests. It could have saved her from having to jerk off with a crucifix, much to our collective displeasure.

And. Am I the only one who has noticed that every single horror movie now needs a red herring to try and create tension in EVERY scene? It's as though people who can't write use this crutch to try and make up for their lack of imagination - which is ironically all they need to make things scary; the audience's imagination! STOP OVER-EXPLAINING THINGS! Let me imagine what's about to happen. I can scare myself better than you can and - seriously - "not knowing" is ALWAYS scarier than knowing.

Seems they knew they'd made a generic, cookie-cutter piece of crap movie though - so they tried to cover it up by adding a couple of "big" name actors. Kyra Sedgwick seemed like an afterthought. She barely had a role and definitely didn't have to work for this paycheck. Even though Jeffrey Dean Morgan was in Watchmen, every time he was on screen I kept thinking, "just call Sam and Dean to help you capture this demon!" and then I sort of snickered and couldn't take him (or the movie) seriously.

The actresses playing the daughters are just a couple of kids - nothing special. The younger daughter (Natasha Calis) does have an amazingly expressive face; she's like a little, girly version of Jim Carrey or something with a face made of rubber and giant, saucer-like eyes.

The older daughter (Madison Davenport) doesn't seem to have an extensive range but, the way she manifests fear is this quiet, composed, progression from "calm" to "freaked out" that really serves her well on the Dusk Till Dawn series, but doesn't do much for her in this movie. Her understated style is really overshadowed by Calis' ability to soundlessly emote.

Worse than all of that is the editing; it's truly awful, creating a terribly uneven emotional pace with broken, unsustainable tension. Scenes with loud, jarring background noise just cut to scenes that are silent. Scenes with lots of frenetic movement cut to completely still scenes. And something significant must have been left on the editing room floor, some time around the end of the movie, because there are some cuts that LITERALLY DON'T MAKE SENSE to the story. Maybe there's a director's cut out there somewhere that resolves this final issue but, I'm sure it can't make up for the overall shitty quality of the movie.

Here's my advice: if you're dying to watch a possession movie, just watch The Exorcist.

You can watch the Possession trailer here:


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